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    Home Remedies?

    I'm extremely guilty of avoiding the doctor, especially at the crazy rate you get nailed for an office visit. My fiance's mom has all of these home remedies, what she calls, "hillbilly magic." (They are from the Tennessee mountains.)

    She swears that if you have an upper respiratory infection that Vicks on your feet will get rid of it (with socks on...evidently that's extremely important). Oddly enough, my PawPaw used to swear by the same thing.

    Do you have any interesting home remedies like this that work?

    #2
    Most home remedies are pure nonsense and some are downright dangerous. There is a strong placebo effect as well as a lack of correlation between action and result. For example, a typical cold will last about 5-7 days so if you've been sick for 3 days and someone says to rub Vicks on your feet and after doing so you feel great 2 days later, was it the Vicks or would you have been better anyway?

    That said, some home remedies work just fine. Gargling with warm salt water for a sore throat. Drinking hot tea for nasal congestion. Taking a teaspoon of honey to calm a cough. Various studies have proven the beneficial properties of chicken soup.

    I'm of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with trying the remedies that are safe and harmless. If they don't work, you're no worse off than you were (rubbing Vicks on your feet, for example). But stay away from remedies that are potentially dangerous. For example, never put anything in your ears or eyes that isn't specifically designed for that purpose. You can do some serious damage that way.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      My immune system overcomes a cold whether I put Vicks on my feet, or last night's lasagna in my hair. No need to see a doctor about a cold anyway, so using Vicks wouldn't save me money when I have a cold.
      "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

      "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Joan.of.the.Arch View Post
        My immune system overcomes a cold whether I put Vicks on my feet, or last night's lasagna in my hair. No need to see a doctor about a cold anyway, so using Vicks wouldn't save me money when I have a cold.
        If people stopped coming to the doctor for a cold, we'd be sitting around at work twiddling our thumbs most days this time of year.

        Of course, I understand that people want to make sure it's only a cold and not bronchitis or pneumonia or strep throat, so they come in to get checked for that stuff. They aren't really coming just for a cold most of the time.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
          If people stopped coming to the doctor for a cold, we'd be sitting around at work twiddling our thumbs most days this time of year.

          Of course, I understand that people want to make sure it's only a cold and not bronchitis or pneumonia or strep throat, so they come in to get checked for that stuff. They aren't really coming just for a cold most of the time.
          In my case a few years ago, I felt sick for longer than I should have so I ended up being one of those people. finally went to a Patient First and they said it was allergies. in the middle of winter. that explained why the over the counter medicine wasn't helping.

          Comment


            #6
            Best thing I've found to prevent cold and flu is to get plenty of time outdoors in the fresh air in the winter. I'm convinced it's much more healthy than being indoors all the time with everyone else breathing the same stale, recycled indoor air.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Jluke View Post
              In my case a few years ago, I felt sick for longer than I should have so I ended up being one of those people. finally went to a Patient First and they said it was allergies. in the middle of winter. that explained why the over the counter medicine wasn't helping.
              Indoor allergies often flare in the winter because people spend more time indoors with the house closed up.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post
                Best thing I've found to prevent cold and flu is to get plenty of time outdoors in the fresh air in the winter. I'm convinced it's much more healthy than being indoors all the time with everyone else breathing the same stale, recycled indoor air.
                The wind chill has been between 0 and -10 this week. Folks aren't spending much time outdoors.

                The big problem is Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Large gatherings of family and friends (and strangers at the mall and New Years events), a lot of hugging and kissing and hand shaking, food and drink being passed around from person to person. A lot of air travel. Disturbed sleep patterns and altered eating habits. And it all happens during what is just naturally cold and flu season. It's a recipe for trouble.

                Ultimately, the best ways to prevent colds and flu are good hand washing, getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise. And stay away from people when they're sick if you possibly can. The problem is all of the people who insist on going to work or sending their kids to school no matter how sick they are.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                  The wind chill has been between 0 and -10 this week. Folks aren't spending much time outdoors.
                  Just got back in from running traps, bringing in firewood and doing a few other outdoor chores. It's not bad if you're moving around a bit and have decent clothing. I'll be ice fishing later this week.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post
                    Best thing I've found to prevent cold and flu is to get plenty of time outdoors in the fresh air in the winter.
                    I run with my dog every morning. Granted, I live in NC, so the temps only get down to around 11 degrees or so (not in the negatives). I've noticed since I started though that I haven't been too sick this winter. Usually, I get sick easily because I work from home and would pick something up when out grocery shopping, etc. So the "going out in the cold" thing may actually help!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have used Vicks on the feet for coughs and congestion with my daughter (which does work), but I'm not so sure about using it to cure an actual respiratory infection.

                      I have used lavender oil for insomnia very successfully. My mind never shuts off at night and sleeping pills don't really work. I put a drop of lavender on my pillow or wrist brace and I'm asleep in a few minutes. I haven't even had a nightmare since using it. Don't inhale a huge amount though. Too much makes my throat feel like it is spasming.

                      Sniff a bar of soap to stop leg spasms. I just use a plain white bar from Costco. I have no idea why it works. My mother didn't believe it either, until she tried it.

                      Tea tree oil for minor infections and cleaning. I read that some people use it in their eyes for pink eye. I can't imagine the pain that would cause and would not recommend it.

                      Peppermint oil for cramps, constipation, or upset stomach. You just rub a drop or two on your belly. Some people need to add a carrier oil with it if it is too strong. Almond, rosehip, coconut, or even plain olive oil will work. You want actual essential oil and not peppermint extract from your kitchen, and definitely use an oil if you are using it on a kid. Be sure you are near a toilet the first time you use it. Effects can be almost immediate.

                      I have tried both clove and oregano oil for tooth pain. They both help a little, but they smell and taste disgusting. I would much rather have a Nsaid and a dentist.

                      I put Thieve's Oil in a humidifier when we have colds and it helps with congestion. Just sniffing straight from the bottle helps open up the sinuses.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post
                        I have used Vicks on the feet for coughs and congestion with my daughter (which does work), but I'm not so sure about using it to cure an actual respiratory infection.
                        Oh, Vicks definitely works, but it doesn't matter if you rub it on your feet, your chest, under your nose, or somewhere else. The vapors will help clear congestion.

                        Sniff a bar of soap to stop leg spasms.
                        This is a perfect example of something that is harmless to try and if you are among the 30% who benefit from the placebo effect, go for it.

                        Tea tree oil for minor infections and cleaning. I read that some people use it in their eyes for pink eye. I can't imagine the pain that would cause and would not recommend it.
                        And this is a perfect example of a home remedy that is potentially dangerous and shouldn't be used at all. I actually saw a patient in urgent care recently who tried this and, obviously, it made the problem a lot worse. Never put anything in your eyes that isn't explicitly intended for that purpose.
                        Steve

                        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                          This is a perfect example of something that is harmless to try and if you are among the 30% who benefit from the placebo effect, go for it.
                          I have to disagree about it being a placebo. My mother didn't believe it would work, so it shouldn't have. And I gave her an older bar at first, which also doesn't work. She felt pretty superior until I had her sniff a fresh bar, and then she was surprised it worked. There have been several articles about it in the Tribune, in the health section I believe. The People's Pharmacy has an article about it, too. I think that was where I heard about it first.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post
                            I have to disagree about it being a placebo. My mother didn't believe it would work, so it shouldn't have. And I gave her an older bar at first, which also doesn't work. She felt pretty superior until I had her sniff a fresh bar, and then she was surprised it worked. There have been several articles about it in the Tribune, in the health section I believe. The People's Pharmacy has an article about it, too. I think that was where I heard about it first.
                            Well it's never been scientifically proven, but hasn't been dis-proven either. It's all anecdotal (like most home remedies and alternative treatments). But again, it's completely harmless so there is absolutely no downside to giving it a try. If it works, great. If not, you're no worse off than you were already.

                            Here's the Snopes page about it:
                            https://www.snopes.com/oldwives/legcramp.asp
                            Steve

                            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I forgot to add yogurt for dandruff. Not even prescription shampoo or allergy meds were helping my dandruff. I tried and failed with Milk of Magnesia. But whole milk plain yogurt cleared up about 90% of my dandruff the first time, and the rest the second time. And I liked that it made my hair soft.

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